The start of the year is full of significant changes at Walmart as the company says it will close much as 269 stores worldwide in order to keep its business healthy.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says that the decision to close the stores comes after the company had conducted a thorough review of its portfolio of 11,600 stores worldwide back in October 2015. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer Dough McMillon explained, “Closing stores is never an easy decision, but it is necessary to keep the company strong and positioned for the future.”
Walmart says it will close 154 locations. These include 102 of its smallest format stores, Walmart Express, which has only been around since 2011. Meanwhile, also included in the closure are 23 Neighborhood markets, 12 Supercenters, seven Puerto Rico stores, six discount centers and four Sam’s Clubs. You can view a list of all the closing locations here.
According to Walmart’s third quarter financial report, its US sales had gone up slightly by 3.8 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2015. At the same time, net sales for Walmart International also enjoyed a slight increase of 3.2 percent. However, net sales for Sam’s Club were down 2.2 percent. Nonetheless, Walmart delivered $117.4 billion in revenue, reflecting a slight increase of 2.8 percent.
As a result of the store closures, McMillon says that as much as 16,000 of Walmart’s global associates will be impacted with 10,000 working in the U.S. However, the company president and CEO says that since more than 95 percent of the closing stores in the country are located within around 10 miles of another Walmart location, he hopes that the displaced U.S. associates can be easily absorbed by another Walmart store. Moreover, the affected U.S. associates will also receive 60 days’ worth of pay as well as severance, if they are eligible.